Eyelid surgery costs a lot, right? Actually, it depends. In this edition of the blog, we will go through some of the costs of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. We’ll also compare eyelid surgery cost between different parts of the country.
Most people assume eyelid surgery has a high cost. The reason is because people tend to think that eyelid surgery is not covered by their medical insurance. That all depends! If your droopy, hooded upper eyelids are blocking your vision, then most insurance plans will cover upper eyelid surgery to remove the extra skin and lift the eyelids.
Look at the example below: in this picture, the patient has fully relaxed his eyebrows meaning he is not raising his forehead to help open his eyes. Do you see how the pupil (the black dot) in both of his eyes – especially the right eye – are blocked by his overhanging eyelid skin and brows? If your doctor can show in pictures that the upper eyelids are blocking your vision, and if you have a visual field test that shows a meaningful improvement in your vision when your eyelids are raised, then your procedure may be medically necessary. Your eyelid surgery may be covered by your insurance – which means that your cost for surgery will depend on your deductible and your individual insurance plan.
Now, what happens if eyelid surgery is not covered by insurance? If eyelid surgery is not medically necessary, then it is considered cosmetic. And there may be plenty of reasons you would want surgery even if it is not medically necessary!
For example, many patients in our practice say they notice their eyelids hanging in their vision when they are outside, or playing sports, or that when they sweat the beads accumulate in the folds of skin. None of these are affecting the vision, but they are affecting our patients’ quality of life in some meaningful way. More commonly, our patients tell us they feel tired or that others assume they are tired. In fact, research has shown that how our facial expressions look can affect how we feel about ourselves. The two are interrelated! Some patients say that they are getting horizontal lines in their forehead because they are constantly raising their eyebrows to lift away the skin. These are all reasonable concerns. So what are your options if your surgery is not covered?
The typical surgery fee for an upper eyelid lift – also known as a blepharoplasty – starts at $3000 if done in the office. About 5 years ago, a study in Aesthetic Surgery Journal looked at the pricing for cosmetic surgery procedures among plastic surgeons in 15 different cities. Eyelid lift or blepharoplasty ranged from about $3700 to $7200 depending on the city. In Salt Lake City, the average price was $4400 for a blepharoplasty with all fees included.
What about a brow lift? Or under eye bag removal? Those procedures start around $4500, because of the surgical time and skill required. To have these procedures done, there are costs for the facility where it is performed to rent the operating room and its instruments, sutures, and surgical staff. If done under sedation or anesthesia, there are costs for the anesthesiologist as well.
To get a realistic estimate of how much eyelid surgery costs, schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Eftekhari at the Eyelid Center of Utah. To do so, click the button on our home page or call us at 801-685-3398. Dr. Kian Eftekhari is a board-certified surgeon who is a Fellow of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the premiere oculofacial surgeon society in the world.